Potential pitfalls

Aside from infrastructure, other challenges lie in the way of Kenya's progress, including security threats from Islamist militant group al-Shabaab, bureaucracy, inconsistency in enforcement of policy and strategy, along with corruption.

Kenya has suffered negative publicity online, specifically following the Garissa University massacre that left 147 people dead. Al-Shabaab attacks have in the past resulted in several Western countries issuing a travel advisory regarding the region.

In May, the country's tourism board announced its intention to leverage CNN's digital platform to try to repair damage done to the country's global image.

There is also a danger that Kenya's rapidly advancing technology force is misinterpreted. At least one analyst has said, for example, that so much is made of the rapid growth in the number of mobile subscribers, when the fact remains that the quality of connectivity is poor.

On the one hand, if it is able to address challenges like electricity supply, infrastructure and the threat from extremists, there is a very good chance it could emerge as Africa's premier technology hub in the near future.

But, if challenges continue to frustrate progress and there is difficulty in sustaining momentum and achievement, there is an equally strong possibility Kenya could lose its footing and stumble from its leadership position, certainly in East Africa.

This article was first published in Brainstorm magazine. Click here to read the complete article at the Brainstorm website.

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